Sep 21, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona in the dugout against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg might consider himself lucky he hasn’t been fired after the team finished last this season.
The last time Philadelphia finished in last place, the manager paid the price.
On October 1st, 2000 the Phillies fired manager Terry Francona after four consecutive losing seasons starting in 1997. The Phillies finished in third place twice under Francona, but his tenure as skipper was bookended by last-place finishes before current bench coach Larry Bowa took the job in 2001.
In his first season at the helm, Francona finished 6th in the 1997 National League Manager of the Year voting. Now entering his third season with the Cleveland Indians, Francona won the American League Manager of the Year award in 2013.
Francona had just a .440 winning percentage with the Philadelphia Phillies before a successful, 8-year managing campaign with the Boston Red Sox in which he owned a .574 win percentage. In 2004, his first season managing Boston, he saw his team become World Series champions for the first of two times. The Red Sox also won the World Series in 2007 under “Tito.”
Although Francona once played for his current team, the Cleveland Indians, he never played for either the Red Sox or Phillies. In his rookie season with the Montreal Expos, however, he hit .333 against Philadelphia in the 1981 National League Division Series.